So today I was listening to some therapy tapes that involve a certain diet (I know, ironic right? But they were treating the people with diet therapy to help with their depression) and one of the therapists happened to mention that the old food pyramid, the one that actually looks like a food pyramid, was created by the grain companies. So I looked it up, and she was right! I never knew that. Apparently nutritionists recommended about 3-4 servings of grain a day and then the lobbyists for the food companies got it to say 6-9 servings a day (or whatever number they put there). That’s just awful!
So then I read up on a whole bunch of blogs claiming that this disgraceful food pyramid is what’s making American fat.
I have a problem with this. Who actually followed the food pyramid? When I learned about the food pyramid, I sort of thought “Oh, great.” And then never thought about it again. It didn’t change the way I ate at all. In 10th grade, when I was obsessed with getting healthy (the seeds of my current eating disorder) I never followed the food pyramid. I never followed ANY food pyramid. And I don’t think there’s any reason to think that Americans as a whole follow the food pyramid. My family never did and no one I knew did... I’d wager that Americans still ate more bread than they needed, but I bet that they ate even more bread than the food pyramid recommended! And they did this without a thought as to what the food pyramid said.
Of course, the fact remains that America was pushing out the knowledge that grains were the most important foods to eat. Everyone who knows what the old pyramid looks like knows that grains are on the bottom, and so must assume that the government advocates eating more grains than any other type of food. This could have something to do with America’s weight gain, but who knows. A lot of things influence obesity.
The current food pyramid is a plate. And while this works better than the pyramid, it still has its problems. For instance, how big is this plate supposed to be? If I fill up a pizza pan with the same proportions as the guide, I’m still eating a hell of a lot more than I should.
What do you think? Did you ever follow the 1992 food pyramid?